Are We Being Conditioned to Sin?

How many of you are familiar with the movie called “The Manchurian Candidate”?  It is about a man who was conditioned (in the old days we used to say “brainwashed”) by the Communists to assassinate a United States figure in the hope of taking over the United States.

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Conditioning isn’t always a bad thing: it is used to help people break their addiction to drugs, it is used to train animals to save lives, and it is used to make athletes more proficient. But there is also bad use of this psychological tool which is being used against us through the media.

Newspapers tell us nothing but bad news; TV news shows horrible events of death and destruction; video games are designed so we can kill zombies and other aliens or “enemies” with reckless abandon, and the more destructive and murderous you are the more points you get. All of this exposure to violence, death, and destruction is conditioning us to become inured to it. We are, unconsciously, being conditioned to accept murder, violence against others, and illegal activities (I am thinking of the video game Grand Theft Auto) as not only acceptable but commendable.

Now, you may say, “Steve- what harm is there is killing zombies? I mean, they’re already dead?” There is no harm to the dead, but there is harm to our children because they are being conditioned to accept that they can randomly kill a certain type of being without remorse or responsibility. What I see is not a video game that has children killing zombies: what I see is a systematic approach to teaching children it is acceptable, even commendable, to kill zombies.

The next step is simply to identify a class of people as “zombies”, and the conditioning will be complete.

Hitler didn’t start by telling the German people to kill Jews, he started by identifying the problems in the country and then associated those problems to the Jews. Subsequently, people didn’t see a Jewish man or woman anymore, they saw their own suffering, they saw the food they want but can’t afford to buy, the clothing they can’t give their children and the destruction of their country. They didn’t see the person, they saw what they were conditioned to see: a thing that needed to be gotten rid of. Hitler, through his propaganda regime, made the German people see Jews as zombies.

This is, of course, a simplistic explanation, but I hope it serves the purpose of making you think about what is happening today.

The example I gave above about killing zombies is only the tip of the iceberg. We are also told what to eat and how to invest. We are told that someone else has a better deal, which erodes loyalty. It may not be a big deal when I switch from Crest toothpaste to Arm and Hammer, but the constant exposure to TV ads telling us to switch products or services for a better deal is a form of conditioning, which erodes loyalty and teaches us that we should only look for the best “deal” and ignore anything else.

From a spiritual viewpoint, the Enemy is teaching people that they should take what they want now and forget about the future. And when we forget about the future, we forget about doing what needs to be done in order to keep our salvation.

Salvation is a free gift from God, achievable through faith in Messiah Yeshua. It is a gift to us, which we cannot buy or earn. And, being a gift, it is something that once received is totally under our control. In other words, whatever is yours today you can get rid of tomorrow. The Bible is clear, especially in the warnings we find in the New Covenant letters from Shaul and Yacov (James), that apostasy is a real threat to Believers. Revelation tells us most will fall away from the faith, and Yakov tells the Messianic Jews in his letter that once someone has known Messiah but then falls away and returns to their sinful life, they are impossible to save.

The only way to prevent yourself from being brainwashed to sin is to recognize the process. This message is your wake-up call to get your kids away from games that teach them killing anything is commendable. You should make sure that what they watch (as well as yourself) on TV and in the movies is not teaching that killing is a good thing. Killing the bad guy has been part of the movies for decades, but the Bible tells us that God is the one who judges and God is the only one who should avenge.

We love to see the good guy kill the bad guy, but is that going to help you or your children become more spiritually mature?

I don’t think so.

We all need to be aware and selective of what we are watching and reading because we are being conditioned that murdering others is acceptable behavior, that leaving something we have used and trusted for years just to save a few dollars is wise, and that other sins are good because it demonstrates that you are a compassionate and understanding person. Things such as abortions at birth, drag queen pedophiles at libraries reading to toddlers, children who aren’t even producing hormones allowed to change their gender surgically, and many other sinful and perverse activities that condition us to sin, and not just to sin, but to sin and think we are doing what is right.

That’s how Satan wins souls: not by coming right out and telling you to do evil, but by conditioning you to think that doing this or that is not only acceptable and correct behavior, but he makes it fun and attaches both physical and social rewards to it.

Just because something feels good to do doesn’t automatically mean it is a bad thing, but it very well could be. That is why we all need to think about what it is we are doing and being told to do, and compare it with what God tells us to do in the Bible. If there is the slightest doubt that what you want to do is not what God says you can, then don’t do it!

Thank you for being here and if you like what you read or hear in my videos, please share me out, subscribe so you will be notified when I post and consider buying my books. I appreciate your interest and welcome any comments or suggestions.

Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

Do All Blessings Come from God?

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BTW…Fall is coming to Florida, so pretty soon I may have to go from muscle shits to T-shirts!  🙂

Now for today’s drash

We know that God loves to bless his children and that he rains on both the just and the unjust, alike (Matthew 5:4.) To me, that means even someone who rejects God will receive blessings from him, if for no other reason than God loves all his children.

Besides those blessings God gives to us simply because he loves us, we can earn blessings through obedience to his commandments (Deut. 28), which means that there is an awful lot of really nice stuff God has for all of us, and he never ever runs out of blessings for us.

But what about the Enemy, the Devil, that old lion HaSatan stalking each and every one of us, trying to place a wedge between us and God? Does he ever do nice things for people?

You bet he does!!

In fact, I believe that Satan gives more good things to people than he does bad things. Why? It’s because when we are given things we like, especially things that are worldly and appeal to our base nature, we become prideful and unappreciative. The Israelites in the desert are a perfect example of this, and for those who are not Jewish don’t think for a moment you are any better than they were. Even after 40 years of seeing bread fall from heaven, water come from rocks, clothes and shoes not worn from the rough terrain, having food and water supplied for over a million people (not to mention millions of animals) and yet, the moment they were had any trouble, they carped and complained and lost faith in the One who had been providing this all along.

They had the same attitude towards God that I used to hear when I was in Sales:

“I know you’ve been the best producer this branch has ever had, but what did you do for me today?” 

I believe that Satan gives many blessings so that when they are taken away, we will curse God. Look at the Bible verses that support this:

Job 2:9– His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”

Matthew 4:9Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “All this I will give You,” he said, “if You will fall down and worship me.”

Revelation 16:11– And the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness, and men began to gnaw their tongues in anguish and curse the God of heaven for their pains and sores; yet they did not repent of their deeds.

We know that Job did not fall victim to the Devil’s tricks, and neither did Yeshua. But we are told that in the Acharit HaYamim (End Days) many will curse God for the pain and suffering they will be going through without realizing that this is as much a chance for them to be saved as it is having to suffer God’s just punishment for their sinfulness.

The Enemy knows that after being blessed with fleshly desires we not only get used to them, we think we deserve them. And when they are taken away, we feel rejected, unjustly punished and we take it out on the one who we think gave us these in the first place- God!  How many people who have been given blessings (Satanists notwithstanding) think that the Devil made it happen? Probably none. We blame the Devil for bad things happening in our lives, but not for the good things. And because we think God is blessing us, when the Devil takes away those things he gave us we don’t blame him- we blame God. We ask “Why?”; we look for reasons we are being punished;  we tend to get sad, melancholy and resentful, which results all too often in our rejecting God.

Can you see how by blessing us the Enemy can turn us against God?

So, nu?  How can I know who gave me the blessings I have? Actually, it’s not so hard to figure it out: if you are being obedient to God’s Torah you will receive blessings. That’s God’s promise, and all his promises are trustworthy. If you know that you are not obedient to Torah and yet, you are receiving blessings, then you have to ask yourself, “Who is giving me so many wonderful things for rejecting God’s commandments?” The answer is obvious, isn’t it? There is only one entity in the universe who will reward people for disobeying God.

One last note on this: if you are doing your best to obey the Torah and find yourself devoid of blessings, or at least having a lot of tsouris, then be happy for that. It means you have successfully rejected the Enemy’s attempt to seduce you and you are getting closer to God, which is why now he is attacking you. Maintain your faith and the blessings will come, eventually, just as they did for Job.

Blessings are able to be earned and also given freely by God to those who love him and show that love by obeying his commandments. If you know that you are disobedient to God’s commandments but have many blessings, you can be fairly certain those blessings are not from God.

This may sound like an oxymoron, but the Bible shows us it is true:

The Enemy gives us wonderful things to take us away from God; God takes away what we have in order to bring us back to him.

Always be certain your blessings are the ones earned through obedience.

Sticks and Stones…

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I try to keep these posts related to the word of God and to steer away from political or social issues. Yet, politics and society are also something that is very closely related to what is happening on a spiritual level. With that in mind, I really need to get this off my chest.

Let’s talk about Rosanne Barr and what happened with her.

For those that may not be aware, Rosanne is a comedienne who had a hit show in the 1980’s as the wife in a blue-collar family with politically incorrect ideals. She was outspoken and a strong feminist. Recently ABC television has re-booted her show to demonstrate that they are willing to put on more conservative shows, being labelled as a liberal network. Rosanne recently “tweeted” about a past government official that had undertones of a possibly racist comment. She was immediately fired and her show cancelled.

The liberal front applauds this action, and the conservatives ask why ABC states that those racist and improper comments are not part of their corporate culture, yet have failed to apologize for the stingers and insults they have hurled at the Conservative politicians and the President.

Before I talk about this I want to say something clearly and unequivocally: racism is wrong. Hatred is wrong. Bigotry is wrong. I do not believe that anyone should use racist language or hateful accusations against another.

I also believe that when someone accuses another person of something, until that accusation is proven to be true the person accused is innocent. When two or more people have an issue both sides should be given an equal chance to give their side of the story and mediation should be the first choice. Neither of these things happen anymore in this country.

I have seen and also been the victim of unfair and unjustified accusations in the workplace and also where I have volunteered. I once corrected someone I was mentoring as a Docent at the Philadelphia Zoo who was giving bad information during a training session.  I was NOT nasty or mean- I simply told her she needed to study up more.  She went off and cried about it and another woman heard her and asked what was wrong. I don’t know what was said between them, but the one who interfered was not present at the training and did not hear what I said to the trainee, yet she complained about me and next thing I knew I was told I couldn’t be a mentor anymore, or even teach classes to the trainees. Another time I was accused of sexual harassment at the place I worked and told I would have to take a sexual harassment test and sign a letter acknowledging the claim. I asked who accused me and what did I do and was told they wouldn’t tell me. I refused to do what they said without knowing why, and filed my own complaint. When the facts came out it was discovered that the investigation was totally one-sided and that the person who accused me was not even an employee. The person was in the public cafeteria and overheard someone else talking about a joke they THINK I may have told someone else. The eavesdropper thought that the joke MIGHT be upsetting to someone and complained to HR. HR ran with this and immediately created a sexual harassment case out of nothing more than hearsay from someone who wasn’t an employee and was invading someone else’s private conversation! I was totally innocent, never found out who said what or if I even was really the person they were talking about. Yet, my reputation was damaged.

More recently in the public and corporate world Starbucks had two Black men arrested for loitering and ended up shutting down all their stores to hold anti-bias training.  Dove, H&M and Old Navy corporations have all apologized for what employees have (or may have) done to upset people of different races. Netflix fired Kevin Spacey on allegations of sexual improprieties. Again- not after he was found guilty in a court of law, but just because someone accused him. Maybe he is guilty, maybe not, but this country is based upon the idea that someone is innocent until proven guilty.

At least, it used to be that way.

Looking at this from a spiritual view, I see the enemy at work in these actions. What I see happening is that we are becoming an overly sensitive nation of victims where free speech is becoming illegal. If I say something that even has a hint of being politically incorrect it is immediately flagged as bigoted, sexist or racist and I am wrong. It doesn’t matter if it was purposefully nasty or an accidental slip of the tongue. In today’s world whoever complains first, wins. Investigations don’t mean getting both sides of the story anymore. Today investigations mean asking the accuser what happened and seeing if anyone else will confirm it, then telling the accused they are wrong. And because of this immediate finding of guilt, even if later it’s discovered to have been a mistake it won’t matter to the accused because that person’s reputation is now permanently stained.

The way to take charge of a nation is to remove its freedoms; one of the most important freedoms is that of free thought and free speech. Now, don’t go off on a tangent and think I am saying anyone can say anything about anybody. I am not saying that. What I am saying is that when people are being treated unfairly and there is immediate and sever reaction (not action but RE-action) to statements they make, it gets to the point where everyone will be afraid to say anything against anyone else for fear of being persecuted.

Yes, I said persecuted and I meant it. Rosanne Barr is not a favorite of mine, but to be treated the way she was is (to me) a form of persecution- guilty without opportunity to repent. And when she did repent, she was not forgiven. Even though the person who she sinned against has said it was something she is not going to be upset about, those who weren’t even subject to the “slammer” are still unforgiving. As if they were the ones who were hurt.

They weren’t hurt but they are afraid.  Afraid of social media coming against them. The REAL reason they are afraid is this: they don’t want to lose money! They are willing to lose the show’s income in the short run to avoid losing sponsors in the long run. And the sponsors are afraid of losing customers (money) if they are associated with a show that had a star say something wrong. Even though what that person said was not part of the show or had anything to do with the network or its sponsors.

Can you see where this leads? By having a nation of self-centered and emotionally weak people, the enemy will be able to manipulate the national lack of confidence and victim-mindset to create an environment of fear. It is wrong to say bad things about people based on their sex, race or religion, but I see this over-sensitivity and over-reaction becoming something that the enemy will use to expand upon to the point where people will be afraid to speak out at all. Then when the enemy speaks against Messiah, no one will argue. When he speaks against the Lord, no one will dare stand up to him for fear of being called racist or possibly losing their job. And when the enemy proclaims himself as the one we should be worshiping, no one will stand against him for fear that they will be ostracized and persecuted.

This is what I see happening and I hope that some of you out there reading this can also see what I am seeing. These events may seem like nothing more than social and political mishaps, but it is really the spiritual battle we have been warned about.

When I was a child we used to say, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”

Today we say: “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words are now a Felony.” 

The time is now when the enemy of God will try to take over the world and the best way to make people do what you want is to take away their courage to stand against you. If you can make people afraid to speak out against someone for fear of being labelled in a non-socially acceptable way, you are half-way to total control.

Yeshua says in Matthew 17:15-20 that we can tell who someone is by their fruits. For me, if someone says something that demonstrates they are racist or sexist, their own words convict them and we should just ignore them. Again, I am not saying to be racist or bigoted is acceptable and if someone is doing something that is harmful, physically, to another they should be punished. But if someone’s speech and opinion just shows how stupid they are, ignore them.  Let them have their opinion and allow them to show themselves to be what they are. When David was cursed at by Shimei the Benjamite as he fled from Absalom (2 Samuel 6:13) David ignored him. Proverbs says that a soft word can turn fierce anger and we are told not to return evil for evil but to wait upon the Lord. These are all biblical examples of being strong enough, emotionally and spiritually to ignore what isn’t important.

I do not like people being nasty to each other, but we are humans and that is part of what we are. I see it constantly even in discussion groups composed of Believers.  It isn’t good but it is what it is and it isn’t going away until the Olam Haba (world to come), so let’s stop being so sensitive and just get on with the important stuff.

The day that we can’t voice an opinion without being persecuted for it is the day we are no longer free.

How To Recognize a Demagogue

Part of the definition of a Demagogue, according to Wikipedia, is:

Demagogues overturn established customs of political conduct, or promise or threaten to do so.

Although the term is usually applied to a political system, can it be found within spiritual circles?

And if so, how do we recognize it?

 

How To Blow Up a Bridge

A bridge gives us passage from one place to another over a terrain or obstacle that cannot be crossed by walking or driving. In the Marines Corps, one of the things I was responsible to do was to be able to blow up bridges that gave the enemy a tactical advantage

We have a bridge that is between us and God, which has it’s entrance here in the world and leads to salvation. Like all bridges, it is composed of components that provide the support needed to allow us to cross over.

The enemy of God wants to destroy that bridge, and we need to know how he plans to do it.

Minority Rules in America

I live in Melbourne, Florida, which is located in Brevard County in East Central Florida. In Brevard County we have Atheist groups that have not been asked or allowed to give the invocation at the beginning of a government or organization meeting. Consequently, one of the Atheist groups, calling itself the Central Florida Freethought Community, filed a lawsuit (they had other atheistic groups join) to force the county government to allow them to give an invocation at it’s meetings. The judge ruled that refusing them was a violation of their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights and ordered them to be allowed to give the invocation.

I agree with the judge- the First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech, and the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees all citizens equal protection under the law, which means that the Atheists should be allowed to have their freedom of speech. What I don’t agree with is that they have to be allowed to give an invocation: if I want to ask for God’s blessing on a meeting, then I should also have the same 1st and 14th amendment rights to do so, but apparently it doesn’t go both ways in America. The minority rights win out over the majority rights.

Let’s not forget the blatant hypocrisy of this entire lawsuit: an invocation, according to Webster’s Dictionary (1993) is:

  A appeal to a deity or other agent for inspiration, witness, or help; a prayer which is used at the opening of a ceremony or service.

So, if I do not believe in God or a superior being, who am I going to invoke for help? Who am I  praying to if I do not believe that there is anyone up there? Do you see the hypocrisy, or more accurately, the ridiculousness of this claim? They are an organization which says it doesn’t believe in God, a superior entity or prayer demanding that they be allowed to perform a prayer to a superior entity! Huh??

But this is America- the land of the free, the home of the brave, and the judicial system that doesn’t want God involved in anything it does. We did when we started, and we were blessed. Just look at the wonderful things we did when we were a young country: we defeated the greatest military and sea power in the world (twice!); we had some of the greatest leaders the world has ever known; we formed a government that was the first truly representative government and has outlasted nearly every other government that has existed; we were THE world super-power. All of that shows God’s blessing on us. But today? Today we  have kicked God out of our schools, our courtrooms and our government. And what do we have to show for it? Our system of education is much lower than the other developed countries, our economy is weakened, our government is  laughing stock (and not just the current administration), our media lies and misleads the country worse than the town gossip, and the most important things for our youth today are their cell phones and violent video games. We are no longer the leader of the world, in terms of the rest of the world looking up to us- we are a fat, sloppy and lazy giant that once was feared and admired, but now we are the world’s laughing stock. I served this country in the Marine Corps and still love it- it is still one of the best formed governments in the world and we are a sleeping giant- if we ever get our heads back in the game, no other country has a chance against us.

But our heads aren’t in the game, their up our…well, they’re somewhere else. This court case demonstrates absolutely that today the minority does rule in America. The case where the baker refused to bake a cake for a same-sex marriage is at the Supreme Court level- how stupid is that? What?- there isn’t any other bakery around they could get their cake? Will the government force a business to have clients that the business doesn’t want to have? Since when does the right of a business owner to run his or her business the way they want to take second place to someone who wants to force them to accept their business? If I went to a business and they didn’t want to serve me, why would I force them to? What in the world could ever make me think I would get good service from someone who is forced to do something against their personal, religious and/or business ethics?

And if I do not believe in a spiritual entity or prayer, why would I force some organization to allow me to give their invocation? There is only one answer- I want to do it not because I have something to offer, but simply because you said I couldn’t. Oh, yes- I forget to mention that the organizer and leader of the Freethought Community added that he would prefer prayer be completely done away with, but he is willing to accept that his group be allowed to give an invocation. In other words, these “free thinkers” are suing for the government to force others to stop thinking freely.

Oy! And the government agreed, and I understand why. What I don’t understand is how this even got to a courtroom. The judge should have thrown it out as frivolous and unfounded. We all have the right to free speech and to practice our religion (or lack of same) as we choose, so long as we don’t infringe on the rights of others. Well, if I don’t believe in prayer or God and demand that you do not prayer or even mention God, then aren’t I infringing on your rights?

The enemy is at the bottom of this, and he is influencing the government, which he will eventually be in charge of. That is why although I can’t stand to see our government and court system so brutally and obviously manipulated, it is what will be happening more and more, here in America and all around the world, until Yeshua returns and we get things back on line.

The First Hurdle to Overcome When Talking to Jews About Yeshua

If you have ever tried to talk to a Jewish person about Jesus, you are already done. The moment you use the name “Jesus” pretty much any Jew you are talking to will be screaming, “Shields up, Scotty!!” because, to a Jew, Jesus is a Jew who betrayed Judaism and created his own religion, which has historically hated and persecuted Jews.

As I have talked about before (check out the blogs under the category “Jews and Jesus”), approaching a Jewish man or woman with the Good News is something that has to be done with total respect for, and only referencing, the Tanakh. Use “Yeshua” or “Messiah/Maschiach” when referencing Yeshua. Do not use the terms “Under the blood” or “Under the law” or even imply that Torah is not still valid and necessary, and do not, under any circumstances, use anything from the New Covenant writings to justify a position.

This teaching within Judaism, that Jesus created Christianity, is the major hurdle preventing Jews from even wanting to listen to anything about Jesus. And what makes this even more potent, as a wedge between Jews and Christians, is that Christians believe it, too! The fact is that Jesus did NOT create Christianity as it is practiced today. He did not create anything new, all He did was better define the existing laws in the Torah. Yeshua (let’s practice not using “Jesus”) did not change or delete or teach against anything in the Torah. Christianity teaches that He was the living Torah, that the Word became flesh (the only “word” at that time was the Torah) and that Yeshua lived a perfectly sinless life, which is why He was an acceptable sacrifice for our sins. Christianity teaches and is based completely upon that truth: Yeshua was sinless. Yet, much of Christianity teaches that the Torah is no longer necessary; in other words, Christians are told to live and do what Yeshua did, but in the next breath they are told that they don’t have to obey Torah, which is what Yeshua did! Huh??  Do as Yeshua did, but don’t do what He did? The popular idea of living as Jesus did with the bracelet that has written on it, “WWJD?” (What Would Jesus Do) is creating a lie, because what Christianity teaches is “DDWJD” (Don’t Do What Jesus Did).

To be fair I should say, most of Christianity teaches this. There are the Messianic and Hebraic Roots Christian movements which are turning back to the roots of Christianity and accepting Yeshua as a Jew, and also accepting the Torah as a valid and necessary list of commandments that are, and always have been, as much a part of the New Covenant God made with us (through Yeshua) as the Old Covenant. Mosaic laws are still valid and need to be obeyed for blessings and to remain saved. Ignoring or rejecting Torah is rejecting God, and rejecting Messiah. We are told this in 1 John 2:4-6:

Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.  But if anyone obeys his word,love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him:  Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

So, how do we overcome this hurdle? It ain’t gonna be easy, I can tell you that!

First, we should re-train the “Church” to recognize that being saved by Yeshua’s sacrifice does not mean they are no longer subject to the commandments in the Torah. We all need to recognize that the Torah is God’s commandments to the world, not just to Jews.

Second, the “Church” needs to understand that Constantine created modern day Christianity. Before then, there was growing political and social upheaval that caused the rift between Jews and followers of Messiah Yeshua (which was composed of Jews and Gentiles converting to Judaism.) Once the Christian world understands how and why the rift between Jews and Gentiles began, we can begin to overcome the wrongful, hateful and Satanic (yes, Satan is behind the split between Jews and Christians- no doubt about it!) teachings that came from the early “church elders.”

When I use the term “church elders” I am referring to Gentiles who took control of the early followers of Messiah. Even though there may have been thousands upon thousands of Jews that initially accepted Yeshua (and never, ever changed their Jewish lifestyle or worship), by the beginning of the Second Century people following “The Way” were being led by Gentile converts, and the majority of Messianic followers were Gentiles who had been converting from their pagan practices to Judaism. Those Gentile leaders did not want to get in any more trouble then they were already with Rome, so they began to separate themselves from the Jewish lifestyle and worship practices (if you read the letters from Shaul/Paul to his Messianic Communities, you can see between the lines that already they were beginning to fall away from Judaism in their worship and lifestyle, which is what he was trying to prevent.) In the same way Jeroboam separated Israel from Judea when he first took over the 10 Tribes that rebelled against Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, these elders became so passionate about no longer being associated with Judaism that they literally created a new religion, which Constantine made “official” at the Council of Nicene; those canon are the foundation for what we today call Christianity.

Finally, the third step in this process is to approach Jews with the truth about Yeshua: He was a Jew and is still a Jew, Torah is what He preached and followed and that He taught others to do so. His Disciples (use the term “Talmudim”, which means students) also lived a Jewish lifestyle, worshiped as Jews do, and taught others to do so. The early “church” was not a church at all, but made up of Messianic communities (use the term “Kehillot” (ka-hee-lote), which is Hebrew for communities) that were Jews who accepted Yeshua as their Messiah and pagans converting to Judaism.

God willing, once we can get past the wrongful teachings, which are from Satan’s desire to weaken God’s union of those who follow the Messiah, we may then have our Jewish Brothers and Sisters give the order to “lower shields”, and communication can begin.

The truth WILL set you free, and it will also bring us into union as one new person, under Messiah, worshiping God and treating each other as God commanded us to do.

 

 

No One is Replaceable

We have heard the old adage, “No one is irreplaceable” many times in work, in sports, at church or synagogue, but it is not correct because the focus of this saying is on the person, not the position.

You see, the position a person holds in the world can always be taken over by someone else. Maybe not as well, maybe better, but one way or another, if I hold a position of authority or importance, someone else out there can do that job, too.

But me, you, whomever is the person holding that position, well…that person is irreplaceable. We are all individuals, each one of us blessed with different gifts so that the entire human race has all it needs to survive.

Unfortunately, we aren’t doing the best job we can with the gifts we have.

We need to learn to appreciate people for their uniqueness, whether that is a good thing about them or a bad thing. Even the most evil of all God’s creations, people like Hitler, Charles Manson, Jim Jones, Xerxes, Caligula, Nero, Herod (and the list goes on) all were in positions that other people took over for them, although they, themselves, were irreplaceable (thank goodness for that! One of each of them was more than enough.)

All the political upheaval with Clinton, Obama, Trump, e-mails, Russian hacking, etc. is all a lot of fluff that means nothing. It has gone on before, and will continue to be a part of our culture. Yes, it is in our very culture- I believe any student of History will confirm that political unrest and underhanded activities are part and parcel of the American culture. These sneaky, illegal and nasty things that politicians (and many business executives) do are still a gift, although a misused gift, that these people have for getting things they want done, done.

Now, for those of us who follow God’s word, we need to demonstrate the gifts God gives us in ways that please the LORD, not in ways that please the world. The evil use of God’s gifts is a satanic activity, not because Satan is totally behind it, but that whatever isn’t for God is against Him, so anything we do that doesn’t honor and glorify God, honors and glorifies the enemy of God (scary thought when you really think on it), so we need to be aware of everything we do and also how we react to what others do. We need to show distaste for evil, and compassion for those subjected to evil, but not to get overly maudlin about it. After all, as bad as things are, we are to be in the world but not of it, and if we let the world get to us, then we are reacting in a worldly way.

The point is this: don’t get all caught-up in politics and the bad things that are happening in the world. The reason I say this is because getting all riled up because of what happens in the world is like working in a fish market- the more exposure to the fish, the more you will smell like one. We need to keep a distance, emotionally, from the evil in the world so that we can shine forth and demonstrate that with God, we are above and out of reach of the enemy’s activities. Even if we are tortured and put to death, it is only our bodies that are being affected, not our souls. That is what Yeshua told us to be prepared for, and I believe (hopefully you agree) that if we allow ourselves to have our kishka’s  (intestines, or guts) churned up over the things happening in the world, we will become too involved with it to remain out of it. In other words, the more we allow ourselves to be lured into the problems of the world, the more we are like everyone else and less like God.

That’s not where we want to be.

I don’t read the news, except once in a while, and I don’t get myself involved in political discussions (all right, maybe once in a while, but rarely) because I know that things will get worse before they get resolved. Yeshua is the resolution to the world, the end of the problems, and the beginning of an eternity of peace, so I will stay as far away from the drek of the world as I can, and remain focused on what is really important- glorifying God and honoring Yeshua with the way I talk, I work, I live and how I treat others.

How about you?

 

Glitter Ash Wednesday- really?

There was an article in our Florida Today newspaper the other day about churches adding purple glitter to the ashes for use on Ash Wednesday. Why? To show support for LGBT Christians.

LGBT Christians- that sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? According to the word of God, homosexuality and cross-dressing is an abomination.

Now, don’t go flying off the handle at me if you are an LGBT person- I am NOT homophobic: I have family members and friends who are Lesbian and Gay, and I love them, accept what they are doing as their choice (note that I say accept what they do as their choice, not that I accept what they do) and I have nothing against anyone who has that type of sexual preference. I just agree with God that it is not right.

Actually, because God sees any and all sin as sin, homosexuality is no different than lying, murder, adultery, etc., right? So, if we are going to show support for LGBT Christians (and the Jews are no different in this- there are relatively as many LGBT synagogues as there as churches), why not support murderers, rapists, child molesters, crooks, adulterers, embezzlers, and all people who perform any one of the plethora of sinful activities that humans do to each other?

What I believe is this: churches and synagogues should not demonstrate any kind of support for any sinful activity. For me, to add glitter to ashes to show support for homosexuality is no different than throwing those ashes back in God’s face and telling Him that what He says we should do is less important to us than what the world says we should do.

The two greatest commandments are to love God and love each other- it should be in that order! When we do things to be “politically correct” instead of to follow God’s commandments, we have already taken the first step to accepting the mark of the Beast. That’s right- when you start to act in ways that honor the opinion of this fallen and sinful world instead of standing against it and acting the way God said we should, then you have bowed to the enemy of God and are rebelling against the Almighty.

If you don’t like the sound of that- tough! The truth is there is no middle of the road with God: you are with Him or against Him, there is only black or white, evil or good, with no in-between. Again, if you don’t like that, tough luck, Buddy- that’s the way it is!

So if you do Ash Wednesday and your church has added glitter to some of the ashes, I suggest you find another church because when Yeshua returns, that place is going to be in trouble. The leadership of any church or synagogue that is openly accepting of any sinful activity is leading you away from proper worship of God and will be marked for destruction.

Strong words, I know, but I am for God and not for the world. To paraphrase a godly and righteous man, “As for me, I will serve the Lord ” (Joshua 24:15), and if that means any of my friends or family members will no longer have anything to do with me because I reject some of their lifestyle choices, then so be it (although I know that won’t happen because we have been through this already, and we respect each other’s right to an opinion, and we love each other even when we disagree- that is the correct way we serve God.)

No one who worships God is perfect;  we are all sinners who continue to sin. The real issue isn’t what that sin is, but whether or not we are repentant of it and wish to overcome it. I believe that is what separates the sinners who are forgiven from the sinners who aren’t forgiven- the ones who ask for forgiveness receive it. That is the simple and direct  way God works. If you are sinning (any sin) and you repent of it, then clearly you would not want to do that sin anymore because when we sin, it hurts God. Yes, it does- when you see someone you care for doing something that is hurtful to themself, don’t you feel bad?

If not, you’ve got bigger problems than I can help you with!

So, then, when God sees us hurting ourselves by rejecting His rules and commandments (which provide immortality and eternal joy), He is hurting, too. God is a better parent than any human could ever be, so if we are hurt seeing loved ones suffer, imagine how much more painful it must be to God to see us (literally and spiritually) killing ourselves.

Let me bring this down to a simple statement: if your place of worship supports sinfulness, leave it! If you don’t then you are the blind man being led by another blind man, and you will both fall into a hole (that leads directly to Sheol.)

 

When God will reject the Jewish people as His own

There is a movement called Replacement Theology. The basic premise is that because the Jewish people rejected Yeshua (Jesus) as their Messiah, God has rejected the Jewish people as His chosen people and only the Born Again Christians (right-wing, in my opinion) are now God’s “Chosen” people.

This belief system is not only against what God has said throughout the bible, but is essentially calling God a liar. There is one who is a divine creature, created by God as an angel, who also believes that God is a liar. In fact, he accuses God of lying, and did so as far back as when he told Eve that if she ate the apple, she wouldn’t die (even though God said she would); he was created as one of the most beautiful of all the angels, but he wanted to be more than a messenger for God- he wanted (and still wants) to rule as God. He was named Lucifer, but we know him as The Accuser, Ha Satan, the Enemy- he is the Devil. And the Replacement Theologists, many of whom I expect don’t even know it, are helping him reach his goal of separating them from God.

Whenever we believe something other than what God has said in the bible, we are guilty of faithlessness and idolatry.

However, God does tell us, exactly, when He will reject the Jewish people as His chosen people. It is here, in Jeremiah 31:35-37:

This is what the Lord says, he who appoints the sun to shine by day, who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar— the Lord Almighty is his name: “Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,” declares the Lord, “will Israel ever cease being a nation before me.” declares the Lord. This is what the Lord says: “Only if the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth below be searched out will I reject all the descendants of Israel because of all they have done,”

So, there it is: the day the Lord, God Almighty says that He will reject the Jewish people. When the sun stops shining, and the moon and stars all disappear, when the entire Universe is known and every square inch of the ocean bottoms are mapped out and explored, then (and only then) will God reject the Jewish people.

In other words, God will NEVER reject the Jewish people! Never, ever, despite what they have done, which includes rejecting Yeshua when He first arrived.

In fact, throughout this chapter (Jeremiah 31) God reaffirms the Jewish people as His own, and confirms all of the promises He has made to regather His people to Israel, to give them a new heart, and to resettle them in their land, which He promised to them (which, by the way, is actively being done this very day.) Jeremiah 31:31 IS the “New” Covenant, and all through this chapter God verifies and confirms that the Jewish people are His chosen people, forever. There can be no valid argument against this.

But, since there always is some argument, here are some other biblical verses that you can check out for yourself confirming that only the Jewish people, and no one else now or ever, are God’s chosen people:

Exodus 19:5;  Deuteronomy 7:6-8;  Deuteronomy 14:2;  Deuteronomy 26:17-19;  2 Samuel 7:23-24;  1 Kings 8:53;  1 Kings 10:9;  1 Chronicles 17:20-21;  Psalm 105:8-15;  Psalm 135:4;  Isaiah 41:8;  Isaiah 43:1-3;  Isaiah 44:21;  Jeremiah 31:1-4;  Jeremiah 31:9-11;  Jeremiah 46:27-28; Ezekiel 36:24-28;  Ezekiel 37:21-25;  Joel 3:1-2;  Amos 3:1-2;  Romans 11:1-2;  Hebrews 8:8-13

 And there are more places in the bible where God has confirmed, through his Prophets or directly through Moshe (Moses), His irrevocable and eternal choice of the Jewish people as His own.

Replacement Theology is not only a lie from the pit of Hell, but it is also specifically identified by Yochanan (John) in Revelations 3: Yeshua is talking to the Messianic Community in Philadelphia, confirming that they are following His words and comforting them to continue to do so. And, in 3:9, Yeshua says:

“I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.”

In the First Century a synagogue was not a Jewish place of worship- the Greek word means a gathering, or grouping- so the correct usage and understanding is that the synagogue of Satan is a grouping or collection of those who call themselves “Jews.”

Throughout the bible God defines the Jews as His chosen people, therefore, if you say you are Gods chosen people, then you are saying you are a Jew.

Replacement Theologists are the synagogue of Satan, declaring God to be a liar and to have reneged on His promise to always love and keep the Jewish people as His own, special people. Anyone who says the Jews are rejected by God is a blasphemer, and someone who, whether by knowledge or ignorance, is working for the wrong guy.

Let us all pray that these people, misled and mistaken, will acknowledge the truth before it is too late for them.